Light from Light is an organization founded in 1987 to provide healthcare, leadership and infrastructure to people in Haiti. Co-founded by Haitian priest Rev. Fritz Valdema and Episcopalian church volunteer TJ Johnston, the group started nutrition and child sponsorship programs out of the Lespwa Timoun clinic in Haiti.
Now, Light from Light has established a college-based program for women starting at UGA called Light from Light College. The goal of Light from Light College is to support health and wellness among young women, and in turn encourage their support of healthcare in Haiti.
For example, Light from Light College’s communications intern Emme Maner fundraises by training for a half-marathon, collecting donations for every mile she runs on race day.
“I have witnessed the differences in quality of life and healthcare between Haiti and the US. As a female college student, a big part of my life is taking care of my spiritual, physical and mental health,” Maner said. “By giving college women a different perspective, particularly as it relates to health and healthcare in Haiti, we believe that college women can support Light from Light’s mission to strengthen the foundations of progress in Haitian communities.”
Light from Light College plans to connect with local health spots in Athens for events such as a Worship Night and a Day of Wellness, according to a press release. It is now working with Classic City Cycle for an event to support the nonprofit.
“We firmly believe that when taking care of yourself, you are more effectively able to live a life that helps others,” said Maner. “We have turned this into an opportunity for women to harness their healthy habits to fundraise and support Light from Light’s mission in Haiti.”
Light from Light’s executive director, Hannah Jones, is a 2012 UGA graduate who once served on UGA Miracle’s executive board. Jones moved to Haiti in 2019 where she now oversees Light from Light’s programs and activities.
“College women, when given freedom to create, are capable of truly incredible things,” Jones said. “I am energized by the students jumping on board to help Light from Light and can’t wait to see all that they accomplish!”
Light From Light is currently recruiting students who may be interested in supporting its cause. Those interested in leadership opportunities can find a link on Light from Light College’s Instagram page.